Many questions may come up to your minds when you know you are about to come to Madrid, like where to stay in Madrid? What is the best neighborhood to live in Madrid? What are the main attractions in Madrid and Spain? How are the people of Madrid and their lifestyle like? And many more…
We all know that strange feeling we have when we know we are going to study abroad in Madrid, when mixed sensations arise, the excitement and the nervousness towards a completely new scenario in our lives.
Do not panic, that is normal, and in this post you will find the main tips you will need to know prior coming to Madrid, so that the only feeling that remains is the pure excitement about this upcoming adventure.
Main things to consider upon arrival in Madrid:
1. Where am I going to stay in Madrid?
This city has a huge offer for student accommodation, so you will have where to find. However, not every neighborhood in Madrid is the best for students and not every area has the same budget. This is why we strongly suggest you to visit the accommodation post of our blog, where you could find deep descriptions of each neighborhood in Madrid, the best ones for students, the average budget for each one, the main accommodation providers for each area… This way you could spot the best area for you to live in Madrid.
2. Do I need to open a bank account in Spain?
TIP: Check your bank provider prior you come to Madrid. Based on our own experiences abroad as students, we always recommend opening a bank account at the destination country. This way, you would avoid commissions on each payment and transaction you make, and nowadays there are many account offers that allow free international money transfers. You would also be able to avoid swap fees and pay always with the Spanish currency, the Euro. Spanish banks have huge presence in the streets, so making a deposit or a cash withdrawal will be easy and quick. Visit our Banking in Spain post for further info.
3. Is it easy to hire a Spanish mobile plan? Do I need it? Which one is the best mobile carrier?
For a Spanish citizen, it is very easy to open a mobile data plan. But for foreigners, usually they ask for several documents that prove you are here in Spain with an exchange program, an internship contract… Apart from this, they ask for the NIE number, which is like an ID given to foreigners in Spain and it takes sort of a while to get it. This results in a contract plan to be more difficult to hire due to all required docs, but a prepay plan are fairly easy to hire.
Knowing this, there are many options, different mobile plans with more or less data (depending on what you are willing to pay), roaming… IMPORTANT TIP: you should have to get your mobile phone unlocked with your home carrier to be able to open a plan here in Spain.
For further information about the main carriers and how to unlock your phone click here!
4. How do I move around Madrid? How do I get from the airport to the city center?
Moving around Madrid is very easy. The city has one of the most efficient and admired public transportation network. You will only have to get your public transportation card (Tarjeta de Transporte Publico) and recharge it every month for 20€ (if you are under the age of 26) and you could use the Metro, trains and buses for Madrid city-wide and region-wide.
For getting to the city center for the airport, you have many options. Taxis charge a fixed rate of 35€ to get to downtown Madrid. Buses are less expensive but very crowded and doing several stops before getting to the center, and you should take another bus to get to your final destination. Trains also get you to the city center but it is temporarily closed due to improvement work in the system.
Check out our post of "how to reach my destination from Madrid Airport (T1, T2, T3 and T4)" to get this and further info.
5. Do I need an insurance coverage for my stay in Madrid?
Everybody coming to Spain needs to be covered by an insurance policy. You have lots of options of international student insurance that applies in Spain, being able to hire it, either from your home country or from Spain. In case your home university does not have you covered, we strongly recommend you to hire a Spanish policy, since most ones from foreign countries cover your stay Spain as travel insurance and not as stay insurance.
If you are interested on getting covered check our insurance product and take advantage of one of the best prices & coverage in the Market for students.
6. What can I do while in Madrid? Do I have many plans at hand?
Madrid can say it has a lot of culture and tradition in its back. That is seen at its many monuments all around the city, the museums of Madrid… you will always have something to do in Madrid. Following the Spanish gastronomic tradition, you will find great restaurants in Madrid with its great tapas, all this getting ready to enjoy Madrid’s nightlife with great clubs and daily plans.
Do not worry thinking about you fitting in this new town. Madrid is very warm and welcoming city, receiving people from all parts of the world year after year so, for sure, you have a spot in Madrid.
For sure, you have to download our for FREE in both iOS and Android and discover all the amazing plans and activities that you can do during the week and the best getaways and trips during the weekends & holidays!
For more information about all of this tips and its related services, check the respective post for each of the tips in our blog, and hire the associated services you may need in our webpage, www.setafoot.com
We look forward to meeting you,
MADRID IS READY TO WELCOME YOU!
Comment us below with further tips and doubts you may have.